Video Pain Management Consults

Pain management is a field of medicine that focuses on alleviating chronic pain and improving the quality of life of patients who suffer from it. Pain management doctors use a diverse array of methods - from physical therapy to acupuncture to pain medication- to minimize and manage all sorts of chronic paints in patients.

The types of medical professionals who manage chronic pains and medical conditions vary significantly. Primary care physicians, pharmacists, chiropractors, occupational therapists, pain specialists, and other medical professionals can all work to diagnose your condition, manage your symptoms, and craft a treatment plan that's right for you.

Pain is a very human sensation. You'll probably feel a minor pain - whether from last night's weight workout or an uncomfortable office chair - at least once every day. But sometimes pain is more complicated. Here are some common pain conditions that warrant pain relief consultations:

Acute Pain: Acute pains are, as the name suggests, sudden occurrences. This pain is usually short-lived, but can be caused by:

  • Surgery
  • Sports injury
  • Car accidents
  • Burns
  • Cuts
  • Scrapes
  • Falls
  • Knee pain

Chronic Pain: Chronic pain is pain that doesn't go away. Clinically, the definition of chronic pain is pain that has not gone away after 6 months or longer. Causes of chronic pain include:

  • Sciatica
  • Lower back pain, neck pain, or lumbar problems
  • Arthritis
  • Diabetes pain
  • Migraine
  • Cancer pain

Nerve Pain: Nerve pain occurs when nerve endings become inflamed or damaged. Common sources of nerve pain include:

  • Diabetes
  • Cancer
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Circulation problems
  • Spinal cord injury

Chronic conditions are responsible for 7 out of every 10 deaths in the United States. Chronic pain management and treatment is a growing medical field, and new treatment options are being developed to help you live pain-free. Here are a few ways that doctors manage patients' chronic pain:

Drug Therapy: For some patients, pain management specialists may recommend or prescribe pain medication. Over-the-counter drugs like Tylenol, aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen have proven effective in managing many types of pain. NSAIDs have also been shown to help combat inflammation and swelling. If necessary, your doctor may prescribe additional pain medicine. All prescriptions are at the sole discretion of your doctor.

TENS: TENS, or transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation therapy, uses low-voltage electrical currents to help alleviate pain. This stimulates nerves, sending signals to the brain that disrupt - and temporarily alleviate - your pain. TENS has been shown to be an effective treatment for neuropathy.

Spinal Cord Stimulation: For some chronic pain, doctors may recommend implanting a spinal cord stimulator into your spinal cord. This device directly stimulates your spinal cord with low levels of electricity, which can help reduce certain pains. Spinal cord stimulators, which require two implantation procedures, have been shown to improve patients' quality of life and reduce their reliance on pain killers.

Nerve Blocks: Nerve blocks are another neurological defense against pain. Nerve blocks are a shot that board-certified doctors use to effectively "turn off" certain nerves that are causing you pain.

Physical Therapy: Chronic pain isn't always the result of a serious condition like cancer or diabetes. Sometimes, pain can be caused by a lack of strength or mobility. Physical therapists work with patients to enhance and restore both. Whether you're suffering from herniated discs or a torn ACL, physical therapists can rehab you back into shape. Physical medicine specialists, doctors who focus on enhancing the quality of life of people with chronic disabilities, can also help provide strategies to keep pain at bay.

Interventional pain management uses invasive procedures and pain management treatments to manage and alleviate pain. Injections, spinal cord stimulation, nerve blocks, and infusions are all forms of interventional pain management - as doctors intervene in the body's processes to stop the pain.

Non-interventional pain management seeks to alleviate pain without the use of invasive procedures or injections. Exercise, physical therapy, and counseling are all examples of non-interventional techniques.

Yes. Board-certified medical doctors overseeing your pain management can prescribe medication. All prescriptions, if necessary, are at your doctor's discretion. Other medical professionals who treat pain, like chiropractic doctors or physical therapists, may not be able to prescribe medication.

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